Although we had 46 days with some precipitation compared to an average of about 33 days for a typical summer, most of these storms were intense, short storms that quickly made way to sunny skies. That's why one could call it the "Summer of Rainbows" as there seemed to be a lot of them this year as evidenced by lots of people sending me their pictures. I don't have any number to back it up, but it seemed that there were very few "dreary" days where it rained or was cloudy the entire day.
As this summer contained the greatest single day precipitation in the 10 year history of the UW Weather Station (78.0 mm on July 11) and 4 more days with over 20 mm, it is not surprising that the total for the season (416.2 mm) was well above the average (272.1 mm).
This was the 5th wettest summer since records began way back in 1915. Here are the totals from the summers that beat us: 557.0 mm (1915), 452.2 mm (1987), 430.9 mm (1940), and 423.7 (1988).
**Special note on the 1915 total, a lot of that came from the single wettest day on record in the area, August 4th, 1915, when a spectacular 175.3 mm is reported to have fallen. I am a bit sceptical about that number, however although only 42 mm was reported in Guelph, there is a reading of 126 mm that day in Toronto. If anybody has the time to check out local newspaper reports from around that time I would love to know what they said about that storm as it would have been an incredible amount of rain.**
For only the second time in UW Weather Station history, we did not see a single temperature above 30 degrees during the entire summer (the only other time this happened was in 2004). However, that didn't mean it was a cold summer as the overall average was 0.5 °C warmer than average for the season. The temperature was pretty consistent as there were only 2 days that were more than 5 degrees colder than average and 4 days that were 5 degrees warmer.
The air was pretty clean throughout the summer with only one day that actually registered "poor" air quality (July 18th) according to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment website.
Summary for Summer 2008:
Maximum Temperature 29.9 °C
Minimum Temperature 4.8 °C
Average Daily High Temperature 24.3 °C (Long term average 24.3 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 13.4 °C (Long term average 12.3 °C)
Total Precipitation 416.2 mm (Long term average 272.1 mm)
(Long term averages based on 1970-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)
Follow this link to see the graph showing the temperature and precipitation: